At the Glossy Summit in Miami, executives from across the fashion, beauty and luxury worlds converged in Miami to discuss how the industries are evolving and transforming.

One topic that came up repeatedly was how traditional notions of who decides what is in style are changing. Whereas in the past, brands and designers designed, and whatever they came up with was what customers were stuck with, now customers are making the trends happen and the brands are doing the reacting. This has necessitated a change in strategy.

Throughout the Glossy Summit, representatives from brands big and small spoke about how these changes and others are affecting them.

Using data and following the consumer
“The power is now with the consumer. We really let them take the lead.”

“If your advisors and investors are telling you that it’s too early to be thinking about and using data to improve your business, then you need different advisors and investors.”

“We’ve had broad adoption of photo reviews from our customers. Different types of UGC have been great. It’s hard to get a critical mass, but we have been getting a lot better with it over the last month or so.”

“We have a problem when it comes to getting clients to try a new cosmetic that we launched. What we’ve really been doing is relying on testimonials on social and product reviews, things like that. UGC is the most effective thing, coming from real clients and staying away from influencers. It resonates more when it’s actual clients.”

Taking things in-house
“Going direct-to-consumer is definitely about brand control a bit, especially when you’re a new designer. You have a small assortment. On a shelf, you can only tell so much of your story. In pop-ups and on social media, you can speak to your customer a lot more.”

“We had the same PR agency for, like, 12 years. It really worked for the brand when it launched, but over time, we started seeing a drop-off in the return on investment. We took it all in-house, and we haven’t seen any customer acquisition from our PR efforts. It does nothing for us. Do we even need PR anymore?”

Influencers
“We don’t pay influencers to post. It’s not part of our DNA. We work with influencers from micro to mega, in-house — no agency involved. We focus on building long-term relationships with them. They wear our stuff throughout every season, then we quantify it to see reach.”

“I convinced everyone to bring influencer marketing in-house. I’ve seen in past jobs that, when you have an agency handling influencers, there is so much more distance between you and the influencer. The direct connections are invaluable and harder to get with an agency.”

“For the day-to-day management of influencers, we’ve had a lot of success filling the room by working with an agency. It’s easier to get a few of our girls [to an event], and then several of their big hitters. The agencies can help with that in a way that we couldn’t do on our own, because they have more connections.”